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The Art of Bass solos/'soloing'.

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I am as traditionalist as they come, a man set in my ways. I was not one to give any consideration to bass solos until I joined this forum. I am a changed man, thank you. :thu:


I met Steve Lawson, read all your views on the subject and, I listened a 'Hide away' by Stanley Clarke and Herbie Hancock. Brilliant! :thu:


I am now pursuing the whole scene, listening out more and learning to do it. Infact, I enjoy the soloing more than the slapping and popping that I used to crave for as a kid. ;)

Both good forms of bass playing. I'm not easy to convince, but the forum has done it! :D

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theres nothing wrong with bass soloing... you just have to remember not to leave out the fundamental requirements of the bass players job; rhytmic and harmonic support of the tune


for instance,




very noty, but great feel and groove and etcetera


and yes, stanley clarke=the bomb!! ive been bringing 'lopsy lu' (from his self-titled album) out at jams lately


steppin in a rhythm to a kurtis blow/who needs a beat when your feet just go


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Awright.... I am a professional bassist, and as of the past few years, have been primarily a solo bassist (although I am still very much active as a session and sideman player also). It was not so much that I "suddenly" decided to play bass sans accompaniment, but rather from the moment I began playing bass, nearly 25 years ago (and after 9 nine years of piano and trumpet studies), I heard so much more possibilities, read that as "musical possibilites" for the bass than what was being shown to me as the way the instrument is played. From the very start I began exploring the polytonal and contrapuntal possibilites of the instrument (and,as a "newbie" it cost me quite a few gigs...seems some folks were simply not ready to accept "new possibilities" for the bass...)


The frequency and dyanmic ranges of the bass guitar are quite large, it's tone poingnant and neccessary, and as such it presents a multitude of multi-timbral musical possibilities. Temper this with the personality and attitude which must be adopted by a "traditional" bassist (the ability to really listen and "hear" the music completely; a both intuitive and intellectual understanding of both rhythmic and harmonic concepts, and the ability to influence a melodic idea with a single note), gives the contemporary bassist some great tools at reaching the possibilities of this instrument. Primarily, it is an understanding that the music, not chops, comes first and foremost. This maxim applies to both solo and groove playing.


As a solo bassist, I employ a number of left and right hand techniques, incl. tapping and harmonics,use looping quite a lot, and play more than a fair share of chords (I curently have over 600 chord voicing for the bass guitar), yet, I continuously temper what I do by serving the music. None of my compositons are for technique's sake, nor are any a show of chops.


I certainly endorse and urge bassist to push the envelope and develop new paradigms in regards to what the bass is (this instrument is but a mere 50 years old; the techniques, devices, and musical "roles" for it are still uncharted), yet, I also emplore that all use the tools we have learned from being "bassists": "serve the music, not the ego", less we fall in the pit which has mired so many of out gtr-toting cousins.



...it's not the arrow, it's the Indian.
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